chocolate bark

Join Culinate

With a free Culinate membership, you can:

  • Create your own recipe collections
  • Queue recipes for later use
  • Blog your culinary endeavors
  • Be part of our online community of cooks
  • And much more…
Join Now

Chocolate Bark with Cardamom and Sea Salt, Apricots and Pistachios

By , from the Deborah Madison collection


This recipe makes a 10-by-6-inch slab of bark.


5 oz. bittersweet chocolate (70-percent cacao), chopped into chunks
½ tsp. cardamom seeds, toasted in a dry skillet until fragrant
3 Tbsp. Red Flame raisins or dried apricots, cut into small pieces
2 to 3 Tbsp. salted green pistachios, some left whole, some cut into large pieces
~ Fleur de sel (sea salt)


  1. Line a large flat dish or baking tin (about 10 by 8 inches) with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  2. Put the chocolate and cardamom seeds in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When the chocolate has melted, stir in half the fruit and pistachios.
  3. Spread the mixture over the foil or paper in a thin sheet, then press the remaining fruits and nuts lightly into the warm chocolate. Sprinkle lightly with the salt.
  4. Refrigerate until the bark has set, about an hour.
  5. To serve, break the bark into pieces. Store any extra bark in the refrigerator in a covered container or waxed-paper bag. It will keep well for a few weeks, if it lasts that long.


Culinate editor’s note: Don’t have the exact nuts or fruit called for? Try other fruit-and-nut combos, such as the trio used by Oregon chocolatier Petits Noirs for their mendiants, or “beggars”: dark chocolate decorated with whole pistachios, diced Calmyrna figs, and fennel seeds.

Related article: Fruity winter desserts

This content is from the Deborah Madison collection.

There are 14 comments on this item
Add a comment
35% recommend this recipe
1. by Joy the Baker on Dec 19, 2008 at 10:50 AM PST

What a fantastic flavor combination!

2. by riceoflife on Dec 19, 2008 at 11:31 AM PST

Thanks Deborah for another great recipe. I love the idea of putting cardamom in this dish. I’ve got to try making this!

It’s also interesting that I ran into your post today. I just posted a dish I made from one of your recipes on my blog, Rice of Life. Thx again!

3. by Cory on Jan 5, 2009 at 7:29 PM PST

I made this for our holiday open house, and it was perfect (and devoured) for the occasion. The cardamon seeds added nice crunch and flavor along with the pistachios. It’s also a pretty bark, too. Thanks!

4. by meredith sobel on Jan 24, 2009 at 7:57 PM PST

amazing, i have no other words! i made it for a cooking class - they loved it, i loved it. it was better than cats.

5. by Deborah Madison on Jan 27, 2009 at 11:52 AM PST

Thank you ALL of you for your enthusiastic responses to the Chocolate Bark.
Do try the cardamom seeds in it if you haven’t —they’re extra-special and a bit surprising.
I was in Paris over Christmas and i bought some chocolate bark and a little shop on our street that was elegant and utterly minimal —an almond here, a raisin there. Quite a contrast.
Another bark I really like a lot which is in my forthcoming book, is made with white coconut chocolate (made by Lindt) which I melt then garnish with strips of tangerine zest, pistachios,and either lavender buds or dried rose petals. It looks very festive and spring like —in fact, this would be a good version for a spring dinner—and tastes wonderful, especially if you love coconut. -- Deborah

6. by Dayang Habsahton Abang Abdillah on May 28, 2010 at 3:59 AM PDT

Simple and easy.
Plan to make this for my coming festival.
Thanks for sharing.

7. by Cooking in Mexico on Nov 29, 2010 at 12:28 PM PST

This will make a perfect Christmas treat. I am looking for more healthy bites for the holidays. This one makes the grade.

8. by anonymous on Dec 12, 2012 at 4:37 PM PST

How would this be with pomegranate seeds? Thanks!

9. by Deborah Madison on Dec 13, 2012 at 1:24 PM PST

I’m not sure! If fresh, their moisture could affect the chocolate - maybe! I don’t think dried ones would offer a thing - If the fresh worked - and you could try it on a small piece, they’d be beautiful and give a little bust of juice when you bit into them. They’d be especially pretty on a bark made with white chocolate. If you try it, let us know! And I’ll try to get to it as well.

10. by Chocolate Cake Blog on Dec 29, 2012 at 1:44 AM PST

Chocolate bark - yum!

11. by anonymous on Dec 29, 2012 at 11:31 AM PST

I bought pomegranate seeds to give it a shot but didn’t get around to it and they went moldy. Such a disappointment! I hopefully will try again. I thought it would be a fun treat for a New Year’s Eve party. Thanks Deborah!

12. by Cakes Delivery on Feb 19, 2013 at 9:46 PM PST

i love pistachios and chocolate what else could I ask for. lovely!

13. by vintagejenta on Dec 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM PST

I make a chocolate bark with slivered apricots, slivered dried cranberries, currants, golden raisins, sliced almonds, and lots of sea salt. It’s delicious, but now I might feel the need to add some spices!

Deborah - That white chocolate/orange zest/pistachio//flower bark sounds amazing. If I liked the taste of rosewater or orange blossom water, I might consider adding a drop or two of that to the chocolate.

14. by Deborah Madison on Dec 16, 2013 at 11:11 AM PST

If you don’t like the tastes of flower waters, leave them out! But I think orange flower water would be divine. Good idea.

Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [ "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer

Deborah Madison

Dinner Guest

The gamification of cooking

Earning points

Most of the time with cooking and eating, the rules are clear.

Graze: Bites from the Site
First Person

The secret sharer

A father’s legacy

The Culinate Interview

Mollie Katzen

The vegetarian-cooking pioneer


Down South

Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more

Local Flavors

A winter romesco sauce

Good on everything

Editor’s Choice